The group said that revenues for the six months ended 30 September would be 14.3% higher, driven by its health care division which saw growth of 23%.
The loss of a contract with medical supplies firm ConvaTec Group PLC (LON:CTEC) failed to dent investor positivity, however, the loss would mean profits were expected to be 17% lower than the prior year.
Elsewhere, Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd’s (LON:FOG) (CVE:FO) (OTCMKTS:FOLG) was 5.7% higher at 13.5p as it confirmed its Australian shale gas project was back actively underway, with the start of new drilling in the Beetaloo Basin.
The Kyalla 117 N2-1 has now been spudded, the company revealed in a statement.
It is the first well in the ‘Stage 2’ drill programme at Beetaloo. The well is located some 32 kilometres from the prior Beetaloo W-1 well and it is targeting the shale liquids-rich gas play.
In the miners, Pure Gold Mining Inc (LON:PUR) had some extra shine after the stock rose 4.1% to 38.5p on the back of news that it had identified a brand new expansive gold target at its Madsen Mine project in Red Lake, Ontario, and increased the current drill program there to 20,000 metres.
Madsen is a high-grade gold property, which spans over 4,600 hectares and houses two former mines. First gold production is earmarked for late next year and construction has begun but exploration continues.
1.00pm: Pressure Technologies steams higher after securing major EDF contract
The AIM-listed firm said the deal, carrying a price tag of over £3mln, was to supply nitrogen storage solutions and ultra-large high-pressure cylinders to the French energy giant’s nuclear power plants in Heysham, Torness and Hartlepool.
The company is expecting to deliver the products by mid-2020.
Another small cap on the rise was OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI), which jumped 4.1% to 45.6p after its subsidiary, ProBiotix, had its LPLDL probiotic was affirmed as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The maker of weight management products said LPLDL had received ‘generally recognised as safe’ status after completing process validation under pharmaceutical good manufacturing practices, which tests whether a drug substance such as LPLDL is produced consistently at pharmaceutical grade quality.
11.00am: Zenith Energy gushes as new well brings “significant” production rise
Zenith Energy Ltd (LON:ZEN) shares gushed 49% higher to 3.5p in mid-morning as the Azerbaijani-focused oiler reported a “significant” production rise following flow testing from its new C-37 well in the Jafarli oilfield.
The firm said flow testing of the well had recorded a production rate of around 285 barrels of oil per day, which was expected to generate around US$5.5mln in revenues per year and increase daily overall oil production by 114%.
A mid-cap firm on the up was Ladbrokes owner GVC Holdings PLC (LON:GVC), which was lifted 3% to 772.4p as it lifted its full-year guidance for underlying profits (EBITDA pre-IFRS16) to £670mln-£680mln, from £650mln-£670mln, as online sports margins improved, trends in UK bookmaker’s shops remained ahead of initial guidance and a debt refinancing trimmed costs.
It wasn’t all good news, however, with GVC reporting a 1% fall in group net gaming revenue for its third quarter due to a tough comparison with last year when part of the period was boosted by the final stages of the football World Cup.
Bot recently served as CFO at travel technology firm Travelport Worldwide, where he oversaw a restructuring of the company from a traditional content distributor to a digital-led commerce platform.
9.30am: Tricorn twists downwards after profit warning
The AIM-listed firm blamed a significant drop in UK demand in its second quarter, which had offset in line performances from its operations in both China and the US.
As a result, Tricorn said pre-tax profits for the six months ended 30 September would be “lower than the corresponding period” last year, alongside a 12% decline in revenues.
In the risers, Capital Drilling Ltd (LON:CAPD) broke through the surface with a 9.3% rise to 66.7p as it landed a five-year contract with Allied Gold to provide a full range of mining services at the Bonikro Gold Mine in The Ivory Coast.
It is the first time Capital has taken full control of operations at a mine and the deal sees it also taking a 3% stake in Allied through a US$3mln convertible loan.
Contract revenues over the five-year contract term are subject to confirmation of a mine plan, but for 2020 are expected to be between US$25-30mln.
Meanwhile, Faron Pharmaceuticals Oy (LON:FARN) jumped 7.7% to 86.7p after feedback from a clinical trial of its Clevegen cancer treatment reported “good tolerability” across all dosing levels and that the product could potentially induce a “stronger immune response” at lower doses as opposed to higher ones.
Faron said if the optimal dose for Clevegen was at the lower end of the scale it would provide an “unusually high safety margin” for the treatment either alone or in combination with other cancer therapies, and planned to expand it patient cohort to 30 before moving to part II of the trial.